HF, H2O, CN- and their hydrogen-bonded complexes were studied using state-of-the-art ab initio quantum mechanical methods. A large Gaussian one particle basis set consisting of triple zeta plus double polarization plus diffuse s and p functions (TZ2P + diffuse) was used. The theoretical methods employed include self consistent field, second order Moller-Plesset perturbation theory, singles and doubles configuration interaction theory and the singles and doubles coupled cluster approach. The FH-CN- and FH-NC- and H2O-CN-, H2O-NC- pairs of complexes are found to be essentially isoenergetic. The first pair of complexes are predicted to be bound by approx. 24 kcal/mole and the latter pair bound by approximately 15 kcal/mole. The ab initio binding energies are in good agreement with the experimental values. The two being shorter than the analogous C-N hydrogen bond. The infrared (IR) spectra of the two pairs of complexes are also very similar, though a severe perturbation of the potential energy surface by proton exchange means that the accurate prediction of the band center of the most intense IR mode requires a high level of electronic structure theory as well as a complete treatment of anharmonic effects. The bonding of anionic hydrogen-bonded complexes is discussed and contrasted with that of neutral hydrogen-bonded complexes.